Image of a white bowl filled with a chicken salad containing a variety of vegetables such as green peas, yellow corn, chopped broccoli slaw with grated carrots, mayo, cheese and purple onions on white background

A Summer Salad Recipe

This is one of my go-to meal recipes for salad during the spring and summer months. Sometimes I make it during the cold winter months, but not that often. As long as the weather is warm enough to open the windows or be out in the fresh air, I’m always up for this delightful dish.

Healthy Food Fast

I like it because it is usually fast to prepare and fits all the requirements for my healthy eating program. Usually it only takes about 15 minutes to put one together, and the whole family can eat it as well as enjoy. Just pair it with cooked vegetables, and you are done. Put it on a brown rice cake, and you have and you have a fast, healthy snack or mini-meal that will keep you energized.

To Create a Healthy Family Meal

To use this dish as the main dish for a healthy family meal serve the salad on a brown rice cake like an open-faced sandwich. A six-ounce serving will provide a full serving of protein for adults. Accompany the salad with slices or chunks of fresh pineapple or cantaloupe, and another cooked vegetable, such as carrots or broccoli. It tastes so good your kids and spouse will not even realize they are eating “diet” food.

Shopping and Ingredient List for Making Nancy’s Chicken Salad

What You Will Need
  • 1 Pound Cooked and Chopped Chicken Breast.  Chop into about 1/2 inch chunks, smaller if desired. If you are doing my “Every Day Diet” you probably already have some ready to go in your freezer. If you use canned chicken, you will need at least two cans, or more to equal a pound after you have drained off the juice.
  • 1 Medium Coarsely Chopped Purple Onion You can use any color onion, but it is more attractive with the added color, I think, and the purple and red varieties of onions are usually milder. I’ve used regular yellow onions and Walla Walla Sweets, but never a Vidalia onion, because they seem a little too sweet.
  • 1 Medium Carrot, Grated Coarsely. **Note: You will have some left over, so you can just throw that part into your salad mix that you keep on hand when following my core program.
  • 1 Regular Sized Can of Baby Corn. I usually throw the whole thing in, and just chop them just a little so they are all bite sized. If you go light on this, save the left-overs for your every-day salad.
  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Peas. When you put this together, you may find that 2 cups are a little too much for your tastes, and if so, just reduce the amount to a cup and a half. The peas add protein and other nutrients to the dish, and I usually try to have enough peas that I get some in every bite.
  • 2 Stalks Chopped or Sliced Celery. Again, add a little more, or less according to taste. I usually chop the celery fairly fine, but when I’m in a hurry, the pieces get a little larger and less uniform.
  • Several Tablespoons Regular Mayonnaise. 
  • Salt and Pepper.
  • Bacon Bits. 
  • 2 or 3 Medium / Large Bread and Butter Pickles. You can use chips or slices, chopped coarse (medium / large chunks.

How to Put the Chicken Salad Together

In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except for the pickles, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and bacon bits. Stir the ingredients well, evenly mixing the vegetables and meat together.

Using a separate, quart-sized mixing bowl, add a couple of serving-spoons full of mayonnaise. Start with that and add more later, if needed. Into the mayonnaise, add the chopped pickles. Include any juice made from chopping them. Add two or three tablespoons of bacon bits, and stir the mixture. If it is still really thick, add one tablespoon of pickle juice at a time, stirring. If it doesn’t look like it will make enough sauce to fully cover all of the other ingredients, continue to add mayonnaise until you have enough for full coverage.

Next, add the salt and pepper. To do this, gently sprinkle a fine, but even layer of pepper all across the surface of the mayonnaise mixture. Give it a stir. You know you have enough pepper when you can see tiny flecks throughout the mixture as or after you stir. Now, add a couple of really light dashes of salt by gently tapping the shaker with your finger until it comes out just a little at a time. If you are new to this method, try this over the kitchen counter or an empty plate to see how your own salt shaker delivers. Because salt is difficult to see, I either shake some into my hand and then sprinkle it in, or hold the shaker against a dark background to I can see how much is coming out.

Taste the mixture. The dressing, or sauce in complete if it tastes good to you. You can always add more pepper or salt if you wish. Using a separate tea-spoon, taste a small amount of the mayonnaise dressing. If it is too salty or there is too much pepper, add more mayonnaise and stir again.

Combine the dressing with the meat and vegetable mixture. Pour a third of your mayonnaise mixture into the bowl of meat and vegetables. Mix well by running the spoon around the edges of the bowl and folding the meat mixture into the sauce. Continue mixing and adding the dressing until you have fully covered all of the ingredients with the dressing and stop. You have enough dressing when everything has a light coating.

What to Do With Extra Dressing

Left-over dressing can be stored in the refrigerator, and used to make  deviled eggs.

For Questions About This Recipe

If you have a question about this recipe, please drop me a line in the comment section below, and I will answer it here, so that others can benefit from the answers to your questions.